There has been an upsurge in visitors to our ‘Meals for the Homeless’ project after the death of Queen Elizabeth II induced mourners who wanted to pray for the future of the UK and King Charles III.
Many new visitors that came to the prayer session have continued to visit our ‘Meals for the Needy’ project.
Video by Hannah Chowdhry: Visitors get a range of meals and food at our ‘Meals for the Needy’ project. They come to us rain or shine knowing they will receive a great service, meet others for friendship and good quality food.
On 8th September people across the globe were both saddened and shocked by news of the passing away of reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.
As news spread of her death at around 3pm it reached many homeless people or those linked to the homeless through meal distribution centres. Queues began to build at our regular meal service on that Thursday (which is the first of three days we serve meals and food) from 4pm. Many of those visitors expressed their shock and grief at the passing away of Her Majesty.
One of our volunteers was very moved by the expressed grief and the feeling of less that was felt by the many visitors to our centre, so he offered to pray. The Volunteer prayed for the UK, the Royal Family and King Charles III at 6pm before we began serving our food. In the two hours it took before we began to serve food a large number of homeless people arrived as they wanted to join the prayer. Many of them had not been to our centre before and many of them have continued to visit our centre.
Visitors to our centre come for a lot of reasons, some just like to have company with other people – they are not always homeless. They come with great burdens on their shoulders, but often leave with smiles on their faces.
Most of our visitors enjoy having conversations with both each other and our volunteers.
Video: John attends our ‘Meals for the Needy’ project regularly – he is not homeless anymore but struggles financially and enjoys good company.
Our efforts have been recognized by the local community and regularly new donors are offering us food and other gifts for the community. This has meant we have been able to provide people with sanitary products, clothes and other items.
This has also helped us in emergency situations. Recently one of our agreed meal donations was canceled due to a water leak in the restaurants kitchen. However a local restaurant stepped in and provided 25 meals prepared in around 20 minutes. We were very fortunate but it helps that our centre is located near 4 friendly food venues. The new organisation is called ‘Donor Plug’ and they also helped with a late meal when one of our regular homeless visitors arrived 30 minutes after we had finished serving, while left the centre after cleaning up.
So you can see that our work draws in lots of people from within the community who all have a desire to help but did not have a conduit, until we began a much needed ‘Meals for the Needy’ project.
British Asian Christian Association have been providing free meals for needy people for over two years. Our visitors include economically families, the homeless, refugees and asylum-seekers. Our work began after Trustees became acutely aware of the growing homeless community in Ilford during a series of outreach events in Ilford Town Centre (click here).
You can read a full review of our ‘Meals for the Needy’ project and watch videos (here). It includes an account of how we grew the service by meeting the homeless on the streets were they took shelter.
The current economic climate has resulted in a huge increase in the number of people who attend our service. Our fuel and food costs are increasing and we need you support to enable us to continue the project and to expand. We need larger food supplies and would like to purchase a fully electric vehicle. If you would like to support this work please donate (here).
Recently we shared details of the celebration we held for Redbridge’s homeless during the Queens Jubilee celebrations (click here).
We also informed you of our young volunteer who won a tablet that will be used to help homeless people reconnect with their loved ones, or help them to find work (click here).